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April 2019 Newsletter: Holy Week Edition!

Posted by Mother Erin on April 12, 2019 0 Comments
As we are just days away from Holy Week, I would like to invite you to join me as we journey through the experiences that mark Christ's death and resurrection.  Often, people just come to Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, as we are conditioned to go to church on Sundays!  I want to specifically encourage you to try to come to Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and either the Great Vigil of Easter or Easter Sunday.  By participating in these services, we are given a picture of the shape of Christ's life, death, and resurrection that is vital to our understanding of who we are, and what we believe.  I understand that sometimes we can't make it to events at church, even when we want to be there, but I want to strongly encourage you to participate in these services if you are able!

Here's a short explanation of each service we will have this week!

 
Palm Sunday (This Sunday at 9:00 a.m.)
During our Palm Sunday liturgy (this Sunday!) the church will be covered in palms, as we walk with Jesus during his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  The service takes a dramatic turn, as we go from shouting "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" to "Crucify him!"  Palm Sunday is important to how we understand the unfolding truth of Holy Week because it is how Jesus begins his journey to the cross and to the tomb.
 
Tenebrae (Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.)
Tenebrae (which means "darkness") is a service in which we move from light to dark.  In it, we listen to scriptures and say prayers, and candles are extinguished along the way.  This service reminds us that we are, with Christ, descending into death as he moves closer and closer to the cross.

Maundy Thursday (Thursday at 6:00 p.m.)
Maundy Thursday is the day when we remember how Christ loved us and gave us the commandment to love one another.  Many churches observe this feast by washing each other's feet as a way to model how Christ washed the feet of his disciples.  Maundy Thursday is vitally important to how we understand Holy Week because in it we receive the commandment to love one another, and it is this love that we are following as we walk with Jesus to the cross.  Following this service, we will have an overnight vigil.  The overnight vigil gives us an opportunity to stay awake with Christ for one hour, a request he makes to the disciples. (There is a sign-up sheet to sit vigil on the bulletin board!)

Good Friday (Friday at 6:00 p.m.)
Please note that we will have Stations of the Cross on Friday at 12:10 p.m. as a part of our Good Friday observance.  (This was accidentally omitted from the above image.)  At 6:00 p.m., we will have the Good Friday liturgy, which will include prayers to remember Christ's death on the cross, as well as the veneration of the cross.  When we venerate the cross, we go before the cross to remember Christ's agony and death, as a way to remember the sacrifices that were made on our behalf, even when we were still sinners. 
 
The Great Vigil of Easter (Saturday at 6:00 p.m.)
The Great Vigil of Easter is the first Easter service!  We hear numerous stories from scripture, and an ancient prayer called the Exsultet, and through them all, we hear the history of who we are.  In it, we begin in darkness and we move to light.  We experience, with Christ, his movement from death to life.  At St. Luke's this year, we will baptize a member in darkness, and immediately after baptism, we will proclaim that Christ is risen.  In baptism, we move from death to life, and all Easter services remind us that through the power of God in the waters of baptism we are counted as not dead, but alive.  The Great Vigil is longer than some services, but it is beautiful, different, and important to how we understand the resurrection.  I encourage you to join us this year, especially as we celebrate a baptism!

Easter Sunday (Next Sunday at 9:00 a.m.)
Easter Sunday is a beautiful service when we continue to celebrate that Christ is risen!  Children are invited to come forward and flower the cross.  We sing the hymns that remind us of Christ's death and his rising again. It is a gifted opportunity to be reminded of God's gracious love for us that has been present to us from before all time and that is present to us forever.

I look forward to worshiping with you this week!  In the meantime, share the image below to invite people to join us for Holy Week!

Blessed Holy Week,
Erin+

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